A couple of weeks back, we got the chance to sit down with one of the pioneers of Detroit Techno, Marc Kinchen, before his set at Day 2 of HARD Summer in San Bernardino, California. I interviewed Marc at one of the chillest spots of the festival, the VIP bar behind the main stage. Reflective of the chill atmosphere, this is just kind of a stream of consciousness interview. We talked about his new single coming out, “17” as well as how he keeps himself fresh as a producer and getting his own stage at a prestigious festival (SW4 and Creamfields in the UK).
Tell us what you’ve got coming up for the rest of 2017?
“2017 I have a new single called ’17.’ It comes out August 25. It’s actually my favorite single that’s been out in the past two years. It’s my favorite one, so I’m excited about it. The main version is sick, the dub is sick, it’s got a really good buzz, I’ve been playing them in my live sets, so it’s going off. I actually tried to get Sony to move the release up.”
After so many years in the game, what keeps you fresh and motivated?
“I think what keeps me fresh is me going out and seeing some of my friends DJ, I’ll go watch Loco Dice or Jamie [Jones] play, Hot Since 82 play, and that’s kind of what keeps me going. I also have a lot of friends in Europe and I watch what they Snapchat and Tweet about, and I keep an eye on it. SOLARDO is a good friend of mine also, and they’re killing it, so I’m keeping an eye on how they’re killing it. I don’t really go to festivals, unless I’m playing, but I still keep tabs on my peers. Keep track of what’s going on.”
Do you think there’s a friendly little competition?
“No, I don’t think it’s a competition. I think people think it is, because behind closed doors, me and SOLARDO, we spoke about doing stuff together to bridge both of our fan bases. Even last year when I did the tour with Shiba San, the reason we did it was because I have a different fan base than Shiba San. It’s like, yo, you have your group that love you, I have mine, let’s do one tour together and we’ll share them. So, there’s no competition, it’s like, let’s all just get it.”
Do you feel like it’s the same thing when you play a HARD fest, expanding your brand to a different audience?
“Yeah, I just play, I don’t change my sets for these. I just play what I do and hopefully people get it and they like it. But I don’t want to get into where I have to change my set every different festival I play, because then you’ll lose the point.”
You’re originally from Detroit, but you moved to LA.
“Yeah, I just took an Uber here!”
Do you feel like Detroit techno is going strong?
“Yeah, I just played TomorrowLand and I can play techno forever.”
Have you ever tried to bridge out into other genres or is that what’s near and dear to your heart?
“I mean, I’m a producer at heart, so that’s always going to be in me.”
Tell us about your own stage at SW4 Festival in England?
“I don’t know how it came about. I played the main stage at SW4 last year, next thing I know, my manager called me a couple months ago and told me SW4 wanted to give me my own stage this summer. I’m like, alright cool. And then I’m doing Creamfields the next day with my own stage, so I’ll have Camelphat, Idris Elba is playing with me, it’s going to be fun.”
Are you looking ahead to 2018 at all?
“No. I know come December, I’m going to chill, I need chill time to make music, I can’t do so much time on the road. Between now and November I’ll be on the road heavy, but then I’m going to take three months and just be in the studio, come up with something new. I have a Kelly Clarkson remix I’m working on.”
When you’re producing, if inspiration strikes you you go and do it, or do you put yourself in the studio?
“Sometimes I have to put myself in the studio because of my schedule. But in December I just set free time, sometimes I just need free time to just buzz, you know, just get into it. Watch TV and have an idea and then go into the studio. I miss those and travelling so much you don’t get that as much.”
Who’s an artist your fans would be surprised to hear you’re a fan of?
“I guess Depeche Mode, but I’ve said that before.”
Have you ever remixed them?
“No, but I’m waiting for the day.”
If you had to pick a song?
“Probably ‘Never Let Me Down'”
Check out Marc’s new single “17” below.